With ‘much at stake,’ UCC staff urge voter protections as they gather in prayer

On the eve of the Nov. 8 U.S. midterm elections, the national staff of the United Church of Christ reminded the entire church of ways to protect voters’ rights — and gathered in prayer.

Ways to protect the right to vote are detailed at this page of the UCC Our Faith Our Vote project. The page tells where to call or text to report intimidation or irregularities at the polls. It also offers ways people can volunteer to protect the right to vote — on Election Day, and year-round.

The UCC’s Office of Public Policy and Advocacy compiled the resources. The page says that, recently, “we have seen increasing attempts to suppress the vote. Now more than ever, it is critical for justice advocates to help work for fair elections and insure that the rights of all voters are protected at the polls.”

A graphic at the UCC’s Election Protection page tells one way people can stand up for the right to vote.

Midterm concerns

Several dozen UCC national staff members from several time zones gathered via Zoom Nov. 7 for a brief time of sharing about the elections.

Their concerns included the presence of armed militia members at polling sites and candidates who cast doubt on election results unless they win.

Staff members lifted up the church’s opportunity, as a trusted voice in communities, to promote confidence in the democratic U.S. election process.

‘We pray for America’

Here are excerpts from a prayer that General Minister and President John Dorhauer offered at the end of that meeting:

“Holy Spirit of the living God and the risen Christ, we find ourselves anxious about what tomorrow might mean for our country and our families.

“With so much at stake, with the attacks on the foundation of our democracy coming with both frequency and vehemence, with access to voting being threatened again and again, with hard-won human rights victories being threatened with dismantling by many running for office and with a good chance of winning, with clear threats from candidates to cast doubts on any result but their victory, we are all anxious about what state we will find ourselves in after the election tomorrow.

The Rev. John Dorhauer, seen in an image captured from a Nov. 7 online meeting of the UCC’s national staff, leads a prayer on the eve of U.S. midterm elections.

“As the United Church of Christ dedicated to a just world for all, to the protection and care of the Earth, to safeguarding a birthing person’s right to choose their reproductive options, to free and fair elections, to the preservation of the right to vote with easy access to the voting booth, and to honoring outcomes in fairly contested elections, we both confess that we are worried about what the outcomes of tomorrow’s elections will bring as we pledge to do all we can to continue to work for justice, to maintain a strong and vibrant democracy, to carry with us hope, and to never fail to remain in the struggle for peace and justice.

“Remind us of all who entered into that struggle, who remained in that struggle no matter how hard or how bleak things got, who kept their courage and their hope active and alive through the worst of times, and who moved the needle forward for justice with every courageous step they took …

“Remind us of the miracles and the victories that came from their continued engagement in the struggle, when the enslaved were made free, women won the right to vote, courts affirmed the right to choose, people of color and women were elected to serve in the highest offices in this land, and the rights of the Earth were preserved. None of that came because people lost hope when the struggle was at its worst. …

“Sustain us when the hope wanes, the energy dissipates, and the courage weakens. Until that day when we see the vision of your Shalom embraced by all, keep us ever in the struggle for peace and justice. We all pray that tomorrow is a day that shifts the pathway of the future towards more justice. If anything short of that happens, lift our spirits, heal our wounds, and sustain us on the journey to hope and peace, to love and justice.

“We pray today for America. We pray today for the United Church of Christ. … May all that we do bring honor and glory to your name. This is our prayer, and we offer it in your most Holy Name.”

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Categories: United Church of Christ News

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